This section gives you detailed information about importing pets into the Cayman Islands, including current regulations and laws, restrictions on importing pets from various countries and the limitations on importing specific breeds of dogs, plus insider tips on making the process easier.
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The Cayman Islands is a fantastic place to have a pet with plenty of outdoor space for them to enjoy. There is also a great network of Veterinarians, Dog Trainers, Pet Groomers and Kennels and Pet Sitters.
The process for importing animals into Cayman is a lengthy one. All pets entering the Cayman Islands must have an import permit issued by the Cayman Islands Department of Agriculture (DOA). Application forms are available from the DOA (Tel: (345) 947 3090, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or www.doa.gov.ky) at 181 Lottery Road, Lower Valley in Grand Cayman or from their website. The Cayman Islands are rabies-free, and to keep this deadly disease out, no import exceptions will be made by the Government. We advise starting this process as soon as possible. An application can be submitted up to six (6) months in advance of travel and a copy of the requirements should be provided to the Accredited Veterinarian who will be assisting with the importation process. At the time of publication, requirements in order to obtain an Import Permit include, but are not limited to:
- Completing an application form (up to six months prior to travel)
- Having your pet fitted with a microchip which is ISO compliant and provide proof of the date of implant;
- Being up-to-date on routine vaccinations and rabies vaccinations;
- Having a rabies titre (blood) test performed;
- Having tick and tapeworm treatments performed;
- Gaining an Official Veterinary Health Certificate within 14 days of travel;
- Submitting payment of CI$50 (US$61) to process your application.
The full list of requirements and details of the order in which these should be completed, can also be found on the DOA’s website.
For animals being imported from countries that have rabies, there is at least a two month wait from when they are rabies titre tested (and gain a successful result) before they can travel. For countries that are rabies-free, the requirements are less stringent and much quicker. We advise that you submit an application well in advance of travel, follow the DOA’s directions exactly as requested, and that you keep in touch with them throughout the process. Alternatively the services of a local broker can be used. The DOA can provide a list of pet travel brokers. There is no leeway in dates or exceptions made if you have forgotten to do something.
All animals and paperwork will be inspected upon arrival and an inability to meet all requirements can lead to the animal being put down, or returned to the country of origin, all at the expense of the owner. There are no pet detention or quarantine facilities in the Cayman Islands.
Restrictions - Breeds & Country of Origin
In accordance with the Animals Law (2015 Revision), no animal of any description may be directly imported into the Cayman Islands from any country in Asia, Africa or Central and South America.
Certain breeds of dogs or crosses of such breeds are prohibited from entering the Cayman Islands. These breeds include, but are not limited to: ‘Pit Bull’ Terrier, Dogo Argentino, Fila Brazileiro, Japanese Tosa, and any breed of dog or cross-breed of dog whose breeding lineage was for the primary purpose of dog fighting. Please contact The Department of Agriculture for a complete list of banned breeds.
You can also visit Pet Travel for some more information about banned breeds, however this information may not be up-to-date as the DOA has recently changed the import laws.
All animals, no matter what size, must travel in a leak proof, International Air Transport Association specification carrier.
There are several companies who can manage the process for you when importing a pet into Cayman.
Pets Entering from the UK or the US
There are specific guidelines and processes to follow for pets entering from the UK or USA.
Pets leaving the UK to enter the Cayman Islands must meet all the DOA requirements. Pets leaving the UK by plane must travel as cargo or checked baggage unless flying on a private charter or as an assistance animal. UK residents will need to apply to DEFRA (Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) for an Official Health Certificate, visit www.gov.uk/take-pet-abroad.
A registered UK shipper such as Animal Couriers or Pet Air must be used to deliver your pet to the aircraft and can answer any questions and assist with all the logistics including DEFRA, airline booking, travel crates, liaising with DOA and/or a Cayman Islands pet travel broker such as Cayman Canine Training Services, Must Love Dogs or Pack Pet and Go.
All pets leaving the US must also meet all DOA requirements. Airline carriers have their own regulations and routes for pet travel, so please check with your airline or contact a local pet travel broker.
Pets Entering from Jamaica
Pets entering Cayman from Jamaica must have received a combination vaccine against Distemper, Hepatitis, Adenovirus, Parvovirus and Leptospirosis, at a minimum of 12 weeks of age after the microchip was inserted.
Cats must have received a combination vaccine against Feline Enteritis and Calici virus at a minimum of 12 weeks of age.
Dogs must be tested for rabies and receive a tick and tapeworm treatment. Following this, your pet must be examined and issued with an Official Veterinary Health Certificate.
Once issued with the certificate, you must submit it with a completed application form for an Import Permit and a non-refundable application fee to the Cayman Islands DOA.
Importing Captive Birds
All captive cage birds (e.g. parrots, budgerigars, lovebirds, finches and toucans) must also be accompanied by an Import Permit issued by the DOA.